IT’S SCANDALOUS TO SAY I COPY LAGBAJA — JESSE KING
He is unique and his style of delivery different, yet a lot of people believe he is the masked one, Lagbaja's look copycat.
You may chose to think and believe in whatever you like, but Jesse Adedayo King, the Akure born and Ondo State University graduate of economics says he's different and would not want to be compared with any one living or even dead.
Hear what he's got to say in this interview with Ebun Babalola
What prompted your style of singing?
I thank God for giving me the gift and talent of music. And secondly my environment, background and the gift deposited in me, all that contributed to my style.
I've always wanted to do something cultural, something original and something natural because I believed that will be an avenue to make myself relevant.
So, that actually prompted my style and my outfit. Everything about me has to be culturally packaged.
In the beginning
I started as a mission boy in the Church, while my dad was a clergy man. As a mission boy, there was always music around me, I was into music even when I was a baby.
Between you and Lagbaja.....
Maybe because he is also into culture too, but I think I'm doing my own thing. I'm surprised they say I mimic Lagbaja. But it's obvious that I don't sing like Lagbaja. I sing contemporary high life which is different from what people are saying.
So, you don't copy anybody?
Yeah. That's why I say, I stand unique and original. I portray a brand which is typical high life. I'm bringing back the old high life which people believe had faded out.
So, why the injection of other traditional instruments?
Although the normal high life is made up of the drums, trumpets, guitar and the clef, I try to make my kind of music more attractive by including bata, Iya ilu, Sakara,
What inspires you?
My inspiration is from God and my environment. I sing what happens in the environment. My environment gives me more things to talk about.
People say you are also a kegite
It may be because of the cap I put on but I've never been a Kegite all my life. The truth is that when you have a tune, you must walk around that tune.
Your fashion style....
I'm in love with something natural and I love doing things in a unique way. My clothing has to do with what I'm singing such that, if I have to leave Nigeria to America, I will be easily identified as a Nigerian. I believe one needs to stand unique not going after another person's style.
Is that the reason for the cap you put on?
If you really want to have a brand to yourself, there is a way you go about it. The cap is not only a brand, even the batik I put on says a lot about my style. The cap is an indicator of where I come from.
And who is your designer?
Apart from the South West, do you think you have been accepted in other places?
Well, it's about a project which I believe we are still pushing the gospel. But I would say, that people are getting to know me gradually.
How many albums, have you put together now?
On the International scene, how much experience do you have?
My music travels world wide. I've performed in South African and London. My next outing is United States, where I would be having a life show. I receive calls from different parts of the world.
Do you think you have arrived?
There is no peak to life. There is always a chance to move on until death comes. So, if I say, I have arrived, it's not really the next thing to talk about now.
What have you been doing before coming into music?
Well, I've been in the studio. I was a producer, and I did jingles too. But I felt it was time for me to come into music and that is why I'm right here.
What year was that?
Professionally, I spent sixteen years in the studios.
What motivated your coming into music?
I felt I had a gift and so what I did was to bring out that gift in me.
And your achievement..?
My achievement so far is releasing my two albums; Buga and Mr. Jeje.
Can your say some of the challenges you faced before coming out with your first album?
It was hell. I must be sincere with you. It was by the grace of God that I was able to pass through the corridor of problem. I never had it in mind that it's going to turn out this way because I struggled a lot to produce that album.
How many years was Buga in the making before it's actualisation?
Eight years. I worked over and over again on it before it finally came out. There was lot of minus and addition. I worked on the script more than ten times in a day.
The name Buga which is one track out of your first album has eventually took over your real name
Yeah, lots of people prefer to call me by that name. But my real name is Jesse Adedayo King.
Did you get parental support in the beginning?
My dad is a clergy man and he is very much in support of my career.
With your family background, how were you able to become a musician?
It's my career and being a Christian doesn't mean I should not eat. I don't sing songs that are pushing up. I sing song to console people.
Do you still sing in the church?
No. I don't do that now. It's not as if I can't sing in the church but when you want to make a commercial branding, you have to streamline certain things. My brand is what I sell so singing in the church in a way might affect my commercial line. It's a brand and it must be well packaged.
How were you able to overcome your financial crisis?
I want to say a big thank you to Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Kokumo Agagu and his people. They have been so supportive seeing my vision come to actualisation.
How did you come about their support?
They actually saw that I had some potentials to make it happen and so, they have been helping till date.
Any award so far?
I was nominated for AMEN award last year but I believe, something is coming soon.
How would you rate your music?
My kind of music would not scatter home. It would not give you depression. It would only take you from your depression stage to your actualisation.